View Full Version : Finding Work
2003-04-19, 05:07 AM
Just one final Query - if the Working Holiday Office has no job referrals for me where should I go to look for work? Where should I apply? I would prefer to stay away from the Eikaiwa business for my own reasons, but am willing to turn to this if no other possibilities present themselves. I don't have any specialty or a BA which limits my options nor have I even reached the age of majority
I would prefer a job where I can use my limited Japanese (I passed the level 3 Japanese Language Aptitude Test but that was a year ago and I haven't done a lot of studying since, I can read a fair bit of Kanji but my Japanese grammar leaves something to be desired....).
My situation is desperate in every sense and I don't think I have a good chance of hacking it in Japan so anyone who bothers to tell me that I am getting in over my head is just going to waste his breathe - all of those thoughts are already spinning through my head.
I really like kids, so I guess I can check if there are some job openings at kindergartens.
About Rirekishou (SP?), should I buy some in advance? Will Japanese companies ask me to fill them out? I am fully willing to do this and I don't think the kanji will be a problem but is it standard practice for Japanese companies to ask foreigners to apply through Rirekishou?
Also, I only have a high school diploma - will they ask to see this? Its impossible for me to get an official copy before I am there, but I can get some documents that show I have graduated and have the official District School Board Stamp and have been signed by my Guidance Counselor - Is that okay?
My backup plan is WWOOF Japan: I would like to hear from someone who has some experience with them.
Any kind of work is fine. The only thing I want/need in a job are to be able to feed myself (whether it is staff meals or if I can draw it from my income) and to improve my Japanese.
Right now Japan sounds scary and bewildering but I hope even if the situation is hopeless you can do my a favor and answer some of my questions. Thanks in advance.
2003-04-19, 06:12 AM
"Where should I apply? I would prefer to stay away from the Eikaiwa business for my own reasons, but am willing to turn to this if no other possibilities present themselves. I don't have any specialty or a BA which limits my options nor have I even reached the age of majority "
Even kindergartens are asking for people with bachelor's and master's degrees. I'm afraid that even with a working holiday visa, if you don't have a bachelor's degree, you are going to be limited to a select few eikaiwas, whether you like it or not. Times are tough in Japan.
"The only thing I want/need in a job are to be able to feed myself (whether it is staff meals or if I can draw it from my income) and to improve my Japanese."
Employers don't care about teaching you Japanese. They want you to work. Besides, you don't use Japanese in the classrooms anyway. Most places forbid it. You need it more for daily survival.
2003-04-19, 07:29 AM
All of that makes a lot of sense.
Kindergarten was just a shot in the dark to be honest. I was only saying that that is really the only kind of Eikaiwa that I am interested in doing, and if that is out of my league anyways then I would prefer not to do Eikaiwa except as a supplement cash supply through English houses and the sort.
I am not expecting my employers to teach me Japanese, but I would prefer some kind of work where I can use the Japanese that I already know, maybe in combination with the English. I realize that 3-Kyuu isn't that high, but it is enough to get by in most daily circumstances - I probably should have said "practice my Japanese" instead of "improve my Japanese". It is possible that my skills haven't developed to the point where I can do this yet though.
Although your comments were helpful, I am more interested in the other things I asked about. Thanks for the time you took though.
Post Edited (04-19-03 07:30)
2003-04-19, 08:47 AM
I think that your best bet would be to check the working holiday office. They have a wide range of jobs there usually (at least they used to) but as an English speaking foreigner I doubt you will find yourself in one that requires using Japanese, unless you work as a waiter. Teaching English is a complete anathema to me, and I do it only by default. If there were other jobs with the same pay I`d switch.
One job I`m sure you could get once you`re here is at a conversation lounge. They pay a paltry 1000\ an hour so you`d have to...... work a lot I guess. But if you would like to use and learn a little Japanese, then I suggest you work as a waiter. You should be able to as long as you`re presentable. Good luck.
2003-04-19, 12:08 PM
Thanks James. 1000Yen is not that disconcerting to be honest. (Even though its going to require some good financing and long hours to make it work) Where can I look for information about joining English conversation lounges? Can I do it on a part time basis?
Is the Working Holiday office actually helpful? I had heard good things, but I have the feeling that if I rely on only one avenue of job searching I am in for a big trouble. Also, can I look for work in Osaka through the Working Holiday office in Tokyo? Do they all have the same job referrals or are they area specific?
With regards to working as a waiter, would the Working Holiday Office have jobs like that do you think? Do I need to go from hotel to hotel to restaurant to restaurant enquiring?
Thanks for the information James, its very helpful.
2003-04-19, 02:33 PM
I`ve seen ads for conversation lounge jobs in the Tokyo Notice Board and the Jobs in Japan site. I have no idea what their hours are but I think you would only work about 20 hours a week, so you`d have to string a few gigs together. I hate to have to say this but a lot of the schools that will take you with no degree/experience are pretty dodgy, so watch your step.
I have only been to the working holiday office once about a year and a half ago and that`s where I landed my first job. There weren`t oodles of them but I managed to get the first one I applied for(my cicrumstances were a little different though). I did see jobs for waiters, but not that many. If you want to work in Osaka just go to the office in Tokyo and tell them, they were extremely helpful when I went. It`s their job to make your stay in Japan as painless as possible.
I don`t think banging on doors works here, but you could give it a shot. In reality, the visa you have is a very good one. Contrary to what I`ve seen written on this board you can work as much as you want and you have the support of the office.
2003-04-19, 04:30 PM
About Rirekishou (SP?), should I buy some in advance? Will Japanese companies ask me to fill them out?"
Rirekisho means "resume". Who buys resumes? You write them. Or, are you talking about buying the forms that Japanese use to write THEIR resumes? Personally, I wouldn't bother, because the vast majority of places you qualify to work for will only want an English resume in western style. If you are REALLY set to use a rirekisho, you can buy them in any Japanese bookstore. I hope you realize that the information in them is pretty different from what you list in your western resume. Japanese rirekisho just cite where you worked and for how long (little if anything about your skills), plus whatever licenses you have acquired.
I have no idea what WWOOF is. Care to explain?
"I only have a high school diploma - will they ask to see this? "
If it's all you have, be prepared to show it.
"Kindergarten was just a shot in the dark to be honest. I was only saying that that is really the only kind of Eikaiwa that I am interested in doing,"
Kindergarten is not an eikaiwa. Eikaiwas are language schools/companies like NOVA. Kindergartens are public institutions.
2003-04-19, 04:42 PM
In regards to some of the places that are dodgy, do you have any suggestions of ways that I can protect myself?
Your comments have been very helpful, thank you.
With regards to Rirekishou, I was talking about the form. What you said answered my question about this. My guess was pretty much what you said.
WWOOF is a program called Willing Workers On Organic Farms and has some connection to Japan. Although not entirely restricted to farms, it's basically a work for food and shelter deal mainly in relatively rural areas of Japan.
And also, you are obviously right about Kindergarten not being an Eikaiwa, it was my mistake to say that it was, sorry.
Thanks for the time you took to respond.
2003-04-19, 11:09 PM
Woah Glenski, take it easy. The dude just wants some info about working in Japan, and he's obviously worried about whether he'll be able to find decent work in Japan or not - he doesn't need some American criticising his statements and showing off.
Chotto dake, depending on the country you're from, you may be able to find work before you go over there. To save Glenski the trouble of showing us that he knows his stuff, I'll say it now - this is technically not allowed, because apparently you're meant to find work after you arrive, but it's still possible to arrange work beforehand. Car factories recruit people in New Zealand, to work in Hamamatsu, and probably other countries too. Look in the newspaper or something. Also, having a friend in Japan helps, because they can introduce you to prospective employers. Apparently that's a very good way to get your foot in the door. Hope this helps - might see you over there when I leave in June ;)
2003-04-21, 12:50 AM
What car company hires gaijin? for english teaching? never heard of this!
2003-04-21, 03:44 AM
Thanks for the info Barrett. I had heard about finding work before I came over, though unfortunately I doubt that many companies who aren't just looking for extremely cheap manual labor or looking for hostesses would be interested in hiring me, especially because I don't really have any qualifications and I live so far away from Japan. (East Coast Canada) As to getting jobs through friends, I am slightly afraid of straining friendships by intruding into their lives. I'm leaving in late May myself, so maybe I will see you around after I recover from the jet lag and stress =)
P.S. Thanks also for sticking up for me =)
2003-04-23, 03:43 PM
No worries dude.
Honch, I didn't say the car companies recruited to teach English. Like Dake pointed out, they hire you for the manual labour, working the machines in the factory and suchlike.
I'm in exactly the same situation as you Dake, or at least, I was. I was planning to get a job in one of the factories, until I saw an advert in the paper for a company called Peppy Kids Club, who were here in NZ recruiting for teachers. I went along to the interview and got the job, basically. No qualifications, and they provide training. I have taken note that you'd prefer to stay away from language teaching. I guess, you're best bet is to just go over there and find the job you're most comfortable with from the Working Holiday Office? At least until you find another? I dunno. Just trying to help really.
2003-04-23, 11:34 PM
Yeah, but basically not teaching English isn't a point of honor or anything, its just my preference to go to Japan and use Japanese. If it comes down to paying the bills and only English teaching or Eikaiwa work pay enough to get by, then I will obviously be on the lookout for stuff like that. On top of which, I think work in a factory could be an interesting experience as long as its temporary or part-time.